Remarks by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang , to reporters at the Subang International Airport before departing for Kota Bahru to attend Kota Bahru DAP Branch dinner on Friday, 15.1.1982 at 8 a.m.
Challenge to Sanusi Junid to a public debate on the 3M implementation, both on its effect on the character on Chinese and Tamil primary schools, and on whether it is a superior educational system.
The National and Rural Development Minister, Encik Sanusi Junid, said yesterday at the opening of an orientation course for MARA-sponsored students, that the uproar over the new primary school curriculum (the 3M system) had been prompted by a group of opportunities to serve their own political interests.
It is surprising that in these few days, UMNO Ministers have competed with one another to pass judgement on the 3M system, while MCA Gerakan, SUPP and MIC Ministers have gone into hiding.
What is even more surprising is that UMNO Ministers and leaders are pretending that they know more about the character of Chinese primary schools than the Chinese educationists, parents and the Chinese community as a whole.
Isn’t it more advisable and less presumptuous for the UMNO Ministers to listen carefully and respectfully to the genuine views, fears and aspirations of te Chinese community with regard to the future of Chinese primary schools instead of jumping in to pontificate as to what is good for the Chinese community, on matter which they cannot know very much about?
We in the DAP are not interested in trading name-challenge, or in response to Encik Sanusi’s statement that those who oppose the 3M implementation in Chinese and Tamil primary schools are ‘opportunists’ we could with greater cogency accuse and even prove that those who wish to ram the 3M implementation through Chinese primary schools against the wishes of the Chinese community are ‘extremists’.
The opposition of the Chinese community to the 3M implementation is not the work of ‘opportunists’, or confined to one or two persons, or a group of ‘opportunists’, but to the Chinese community as a whole. This is because of genuine concern that the 3M implementation in Chinese primary schools in its present form would definitely affect its character and integrity.
I challenge Encik Sanusi to a public debate on the 3M implementation in Chinese and Tamil primary schools, as to whether it would affect the character of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
The public debate could also be extended to include the implementation of the 3M system in national primary schools, and the DAP stand that it should not be fully extended to all national primary schools next year until there is an experimental period for parents to judge whether the 3M is superior, both in theory and practice, than the previous system which had been responsible for Encik Sanusi’s education.